Monday, February 21, 2011

Steve Lavin: Bringing Back St. Johns Basketball

St. John's basketball has been phenomenal this season under new coach, Steve Lavin.

St. John's basketball back in the day, was like Duke basketball, or The Chicago Bulls. After the departure of Ron Artest, and a couple of other stars, the team got worse and worse. In the Big East, they used to be one of the elite teams, but the last decade, they were the easy game in the schedule to help players rest for the big games. Now St. Johns is back, with a new coach, recruiting class, and will to survive in the NCAA's top basketball conference.

Steve Lavin is one of the greatest coaches in college hoops today, and this year i would give him the coach of the year award. He took over the Red Storm this season, after working with ESPN the last few years. Before ESPN, Lavin was coach of the UCLA Bruins and had a 145-78 record there. He led them to the tournament every year except his last, and made it to four sweet sixteens, and even a elite eight run.

Lavin is back to prove his skills, and is transforming St. John's back to a power basketball school. Lavin currently hast he St. Johns Red Storm in the top 25, with a 17-9 record. St. John's arguably have the toughest schedule or RPI, in the land. Over the season, they have already played nine top 25 schools, with one still to go. Also the Storm have defeated other tough opponents like West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Marquette.

The Red Storm started off the season pretty weak, and the odds looked like another crappy season. The Storm dropped the first game of the season, vs the Saint Mary Gaels. After the next five games which they won, they dropped two in a row. Later after another group of wins, the Storm would get themselves in another hole, dropping five of six games in a row.

After that final loss against #20 Georgetown, the Storm transformed into a hurricane, and upset #3 Duke, #9 UCONN, and most recently #4 Pittsburgh. With the only ranked team left on the schedule being Villanova, the Red Storm are in good shape going into the Big East Tournament, and even the great 68 team tournament.

The Red Storm play at the worlds most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, and have been excellent there this season. They have had 5 upset wins vs ranked teams in MSG.

St. John's top player this year is guard, Dwight Hardy. Hardy is a Senior out of the Bronx and is the key leader of this team. He is currently averaging 17.2 points per game, along with a steal, a few assists, and close to four rebounds. He has hit many clutch shots this season, and had a season high 32 points per game vs UCONN.

Many Bracketology experts have St. John's being a high single digit ranked team, like a eight or nine. Many analyst though, have St. John's being that team to upset a potential one, two, or three seed, since they have done it many times this season already.

St. John's basketball has definitely improved under Lavin, and it is good to see great New York City College Basketball being played in the garden.

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